Many of the Associated Press new stories on former United States President George W. Bush’s recent surgery to unblock an artery in his heart feature discussion from Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s Director of Interventional Cardiology, Habib Samady, MD, who was interviewed to discuss details of the former President’s cardiac angioplasty and how arteries in the heart become blocked.
During a routine physical, doctors found a blockage in Bush’s artery. In order to open up the artery blockage, cardiologists at a Texas hospital performed a cardiac angioplasty procedure.
Dr. Samady says it takes 20 to 30 years for cholesterol to build up in the arteries. When the narrowing of the blood vessel gets to 80– 90 % then the blockage will limit blood flow. When this occurs patients may experience symptoms of heart disease such as:
• Chest pain
• Pressure in chest
• Shortness of breath
Learn more about cardiac angioplasties and the former President’s heart surgery in this AP video featuring Dr. Samady!
Cardiac angioplasties are fairly common procedures and many times the patients go home the same day or the next day. They can be performed for outpatients with symptoms of angina or evidence of low blood flow on a stress test or for inpatients with heart attacks or “near heart attacks”. Emory cardiologists were pioneers in developing the angioplasty procedure in the 1980’s. Former Emory cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig performed the first balloon angioplasty in 1977 in Zurich, Switzerland before immigrating to the United States and coming to Emory from where the procedure was taught and disseminated through out the world. In 1987, Emory interventional cardiologists were the first to deploy coronary stents in the United States and currently are national leaders in determining which patient needs to have a blockage unblocked by measuring blood flow in each artery as well as in the use of miniaturized ultrasound and infrared cameras for the optimal deployment of coronary stents.
About Habib Samady, MD
Dr. Samady is the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Emory Hospitals as well as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and has been on faculty at Emory since 1998. Dr. Samady has been instrumental in the development of the interventional cardiology program at Emory. He specializes in cardiac cauterization, interventional cardiology, nuclear cardiology and valve disease. He is a published author and has published several articles in peer reviewed publications.